top of page

50 Inspiring Quotes By Female Leaders That Will Invigorate You

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Photo by rob walsh on Unsplash

Women are the pieces of string that hold the fabric of our society together. Studies show when women are empowered and given equal access, it becomes smart economics. According to the World Bank's 2012 World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development, closing these gender gaps is essential for development and policymaking.

Greater gender equality can enhance economic productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions and policies more representative. Women who are in leadership positions tend to champion causes that are meaningful to them, hence increasing the betterment of the population.

  • 76% of women indicate that they are seeking C-level executive positions, compared to only 56% of men.

  • Women received a 53% overall leadership effectiveness score as compared to 49% for male participants in a 2011 study (Zenger Folkman Study).

  • 68% of women executives believe women's contributions are undervalued by men.

  • Dezso and Gaddis Ross 2011 study found that adding women leaders improves performance in innovation-oriented firms.

On International Women's Day, Black Girl Ventures went on a mission to find some of the bravest, bad***, #bosslady quotes ever said to help invigorate you when you find yourself defeated in the face of adversity. Use these quotes to remind yourself that being a woman isn’t a burden; it’s a gift, a beautiful glowing gift that lights up and heals the rest of the world.

Here are 50 Inspiring Quotes By Female Leaders That Will Invigorate You:

"I thrive on obstacles. If I'm told that it can't be told, then I push harder."—Issa Rae

"I have standards I don't plan on lowering for anybody … including myself."—Zendaya

"Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I didn't have to become perfect because I've learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness."—Janelle Monae

"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own." —Michelle Obama

"You wanna know what scares people? Success. When you don't make moves and when you don't climb up the ladder, everybody loves you because you're not competition."—Nicki Minaj

"Have passion and pride to be dynamic, distinguished, and extraordinary."—Mirna Lopez Freitag

"Be in control of your life by living each day unhindered and unrestrained by the legitimate institutions that control you."—Luz Canino Baker

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”—Diane Mariechild

"If you believe in yourself, everyone around you will too."—Claudia Soto Urrutia

"Let go of who you are today to become who you want to be."—Paloma Greer

"Getting past those labels, for me, pretty much really easy because I define myself."—

Serena Williams

We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.—Malala Yousafzai

A woman is like a teabag – only in hot water do you realize how strong she is.—Eleanor Roosevelt

The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I do know one thing about me: I don’t measure myself by others’ expectations or let others define my worth.—Sonia Sotomayor

“Women asking for raises should not only know their value, but they should ask with the confidence that they’re helping the company to be successful.” —Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.—Toni Morrison

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.”—Nancy Rathburn

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”—Maya Angelou

“Tremendous amounts of talent are being lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.”—Shirley Chisholm

“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard… We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”—Malala Yousafzai

“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”—Indira Gandhi

“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.”—Michelle Obama

“We’re all water from different rivers, that’s why it’s so easy to meet; we’re all water in this vast, vast ocean, someday we’ll evaporate together.”—Yoko Ono

“We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. […] And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself?”—Greta Thunberg,

“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is most important.”—Junko Tabei

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”—Ayn Rand

“The next decade cannot be a decade of confrontation and contention. It cannot be East vs. West. It cannot be men vs. women. It cannot be Islam vs. Christianity. That is what the enemies of dialogue want.”—Benazir Bhutto

“You can be the lead in your own life.”—Kerry Washington

“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”—Margaret Thatcher

“The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.”—Aung San Suu Kyi

"If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again."—Sojourner Truth, American abolitionist

“A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done.”—Marge Piercy

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”—Nora Ephron

“A man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.”—Melinda Gates

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”—Audre Lorde

"I don’t follow trends or try to compete with anyone. Everything I do stems from following my passion and my love for design."—Guo Pei

"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made... It shouldn't be that women are the exception."—Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.”—Ellen DeGeneres

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance.”—Bell hooks

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”—Madeleine Albright

"Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world; it's your life.”— Dr. Mae Jemison

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”—J. K. Rowling

“You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.”—Leymah Gbowee

“Power is not given to you. You have to take it."—Beyoncé Knowles

"I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man's work for less than a man's pay."—Clara Barton

“When I’m tired, I rest. I say, ‘I can’t be a superwoman today.’”—Jada Pinkett Smith

“It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine.”—Byron Katie

“You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.”—Shonda Rhimes

We hope these quotes remind you of how much you matter, how much your voice and story matters, and how your impact on this world ripples for generations to come.

Subscribe to the Digital Orange Juice for juicy ideas and the people who fund them. You can find out about our next pitch competitions here.

242 views0 comments


bottom of page